Frequently Asked Questions

Ignite Team Q&A

We recently answered questions in a live Q&A session (July 2016). Many of them are very specific to our programmes, selection criteria, investment strategy and how we do what we do. If you're interested in applying for Ignite, we recommend you watch this as many of the common questions we get are answered here.

Tell me more about Ignite

Ignite is Europe’s angel-led acceleration network investing in early-stage technology startups across the UK, supporting founders for the lifetime of their business.

Ignite is backed by one of the strongest angel networks in Europe, a unique group of entrepreneurs, VCs and founders that offer our startups unrivalled experience and support.

We like to work with teams that have domain expertise. You don’t need to be a seasoned entrepreneur or a former Googler. You may have raised a seed round or you may only have a concept. We want to work with smart teams with interesting ideas, and we recognise they come in all shapes and sizes.

Why should we join Ignite?

Ignite is one of Europe’s top accelerator programmes, and offers an outstanding opportunity to work with an accomplished network of mentors and investors while supported by an unrivalled alumni network.

We’re proud to say we’re different to other accelerators. Ask around – you won’t find any other programme speaking at SXSW, showcasing their alumni in NYC or tearing up the accelerator rulebook to do things better.

How much funding will my startup receive?

Teams receive £17,000 per team in return for 8% of founder shares. If you already have funding and don’t need the additional investment, you can join the programme in return for a smaller equity stake.

In return, we’ll provide you with:

  • £17,000 investment per team, invested by a network of active tech angels and VCs
  • A 12-14 week programme (length depends on city and time of year) in a central workspace with coaching, mentoring, workshops and introductions to the UK investment community
  • Founder trip to the US
  • Up to £100,000 worth of credits from AWS Activate or up to $20,000 worth of credits from Google Cloud Platform, as well as credits and support programmes from IBM, SendGrid, Autopilot and other partners
  • ongoing post-programme support

There are no strange terms and conditions and we align ourselves entirely with the other founders of the business.

For the sake of complete transparency, teams receive £32,000, of which £15,000 + VAT (£18,000) is due to Ignite in programme fees. All teams are required to be VAT registered before or during the programme so they can claim back £3,000 in VAT. In other words, the total investment in your business is £17,000. If you’d like any further clarification, please get in touch!

Who are the investors?

Every team accepted onto the programme is backed by the best group of angel investors involved in European accelerators. We’ve hand-picked our VCs and angels, and while we can’t talk about all of them in public, please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Does Ignite have a seed fund for teams after the programme?

No, however the best teams will have access to follow-on seed funding to ensure they continue to grow and scale. Ignite will be there to ensure you're supported throughout this process.

What type of startups do you accept?

We’re focused on technology businesses and while most successful applicants will be solving problems and exploiting opportunities on the web and mobile, we’ll also consider startups with a hardware element.

Is my startup too early (or late) stage to apply to Ignite?

Not at all. We’ll consider startups that are still at ealry stage (low to no traction, minimum MVP - something to test), though we’ve proven we can provide substantial value to later-stage businesses too. If you are unsure then please consider booking an office hours session, or joining one of our free pre-accelerator programmes.

Can I apply if I’m not from the UK?

Yes. Anyone can apply to the Ignite accelerator programme from within the EU and beyond, as long as you and your team can work in the UK legally for the duration of the programme.

Where is Ignite based and what’s it like?

Ignite's HQ is in Newcastle but depending which programme you choose to apply for you could be based in London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Newcastle. We have bases in all the cities we operate in for at least the duration of each programme.

When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?

Applications for Ignite are not currently open, however you should feel free to get in touch with us at any time either via email, Twitter or office hours. When you apply, you are applying for the next programme in line. If that particular city doesn't suit you, then you can let us know that you would like us to hold your application over until the next suitable city starts shortlisting applications.

Do I need to send in a business plan?

The point of Ignite is to help you shape your business and find market fit, so a business plan isn’t much use before we do that. Even if you’re trading and have revenues, your business and product are likely to change. Instead, complete the short application form, but please make sure you fill in all the questions.

Where will we live during the programme?

Finding a place to stay is your responsibility, but we work with local landlords to ensure that basic and affordable accommodation is available. We strongly encourage teams to live together – it further strengthens the collaboration between founders.

What's the deal with the US trip?

Our trips to the US have taken a few different forms over the years and right now they can happen either during a programme, or immediately after a programme completes (this will depend on the time of year). The trip is a week long and typically hits New York and Boston, although we've also been to Denver & Boulder, Colorado before as well.

We meet founders of well known high growth companies, investors, mentors and ex-pats during the trip and the whole week is organised and curated by the Ignite team, maximising the opportunities in our ever expanding network in the USA.

The cost of the trip is not covered by Ignite, although we do work to make it as affordable as we can for the founders that go. Typically, one founder per team will attend the trip to keep the number of people moving around each city to a managable number.

Will you accept single founder teams? What about non-developers?

The Ignite programme is very intensive so we will always consider teams over single founders. That doesn’t mean we won’t consider single founders, but they must be outstanding developers and have strong product development skills. As for developers, we won’t consider your application unless a developer is part of your team. All teams must have the ability to iterate while part of the programme.